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'Five a Day' to keep the blues at bay

Based on the research what small, everyday things, can people do to achieve a sense of happiness and well-being? According to the Mental Capital and Well-being report, produced by the New Economics Foundation, there are some very simple techniques for boosting vitality and mental well-being. The report was compiled by over 400 scientists, for the government thinktank Foresight, and the authors say that just as health and nutrition can be increased with five portions of fruit and vegetables per day, well-being can be increased by incorporating 5 of the following into each day.

The first of these is to Connect with others. A significant finding, replicated in various strands of research, is that relationships matter for well-being. Developing and nurturing relationships with family, friends and neighbours can enrich life and provide a sense of meaning.

Not only do people matter, but the way we interact with them can have an impact on our happiness and well-being.  Giving our time to people we love, or helping a stranger for example, can increase happiness and encourage people to feel part of the community.

Being Active is important too.  Doing activities such as gardening, going for a stroll in the park, joining a local yoga class or walking home from work can influence people?s energy and mood.

Another important ingredient for well-being is Curiosity.  Being inquisitive involves noticing what?s happening around you. This means paying attention to those things which are good in life and which matter to you: a beautiful sunset, an autumn tree, or change of scenery.  Being curious encourages people to look at the world with fresh eyes and can provide a sense of energy.  This may also encourage people to want to find out more. 

Learning new things is a great source of energy and engagement.  Not only is learning engaging but learning new things, such as how to play an instrument or speak a new language, is challenging.   Challenging activities encourage people to persevere and learn things they didn?t know before, and this builds confidence and leads to a sense of satisfaction.

The authors recommend that people assimilate these top tips into their daily lives to build their mental health and well-being. The great news is that these tips are either free of charge or have a small cost, which is great news for the hard economic times ahead.  To read the report click here.  To read a Times online article click here.  Nic Marcs, from the New Economics Foundation, will be speaking at our next event ?Thriving in Turbulent Times? to find out more or to book a place click here.


 

 
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